Fam Trip to Disneyland Paris
The Aer Lingus flight left at 6.40 am from Cork and arrived in Paris CDG at 0930 local time. They are 1 hour ahead of us. We arrived in to Terminal 1 so had to make our way to Terminal 2 where our VEA Shuttle was picking us up. We had to walk about 20 minutes to get to the shuttle stop. We had to get a train from terminal 1 to 2, this took only a few minutes. The VEA shuttle took about 45 minutes from the airport to the Newport Bay Hotel. Our rooms were ready so we were able to go straight there and get freshened up and change our clothes.
We then headed for the DisneylandPark where we looked around and went on some rides. We arrived on a Sunday so the parks were extremely busy and there were a lot of locals there also. We had lunch in Annette's Cafe, we had the half board option so we got a three course meal including a drink. This was worth about &euro25 if you paid for this but with the half board you save approx 15% on the cost.
We went to the Wild West Show at 6.30 (the 6.30 show is the first show and there is also one on at 8.30). *** there is no show on a Wednesday or Thursday ***. It cost &euro70 per child and &euro55 per child for premium seating which is what we had.  This includes your ticket to the show, dinner & a beer for the adults or a mineral for a child. You can get wine but there is a charge for this.
After the show we went to See Disney Dreams! which is a new show in the DisneylandPark. One word to describe it, AMAZING! You really need to see it to understand, it's not something I can put in to words. The times for the show vary as it needs to be dark before it can start.
Monday 08th April:
We went to the park in the late afternoon and watched the parade, the time for the parade varies depending on the time of year. It had various different floats from a lot of the movies. It was very enjoyable to watch.
We had the great opportunity of have privatised time in the Studios from 6-7.30 pm so were able to go on the Tower of Terror, Crush's Coaster, Toy Story Playland & Flying carpets without queuing so this was great for us. Unfortunately we had to leave the park at 7 to go back to the hotel to get ready for the gala dinner at the Done in DisneyVillage. Again this was buffet style but the food was amazing. We had wine included and even got lots of drinks vouchers to use for the rest of the night. There was entertainment there from Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean, entertainers on silks & from Peter Pan and Tinkerbell. We even got our picture taken as a group with a real pirate. There was also face painting there. There was a brilliant DJ who played until 1am.
Tuesday 09th April:
We had lunch in the New York Hotel, buffet style again but much nicer food than the Cheyenne Hotel. That evening we had dinner at La Grange in Billy Bob's in DisneyVillage. This was buffet style and we had our half board voucher again for this restaurant. Food was Mexican style and it was amazing. They had other types of food also like Spaghetti & Meat balls, Pizza etc. Something to cater for everyone's taste.
Wednesday 10th April:
We had lunch again today in the New York Hotel. The food was amazing and there was such a choice there. I turned in to a child for about the 100th time there as all the characters came around to all the tables and were able to get out pictures taken with them. One of the great things about the night was that we had an amazing view of the Castle and were able to see the Dreams Show from there for the second time. We finished up and went to Billy Bobs for a few drinks, there was a live band so it was a great way to finish off a great week.
Thursday 11th April:
Dropped the key in to the box at reception, there was no need for us to check out. We had a private transfer which picked us up at 7.30am and dropped us to the airport. I would highly recommend that you book this over the VEA Shuttle for the sake of about &euro16. It's much faster and very comfortable. My flight back to Cork was at 10.10 am and took 1 hour 20 mins.
Emily's exciting trip to Las Vegas
Flew out 21st Feb with Continental through Newark. We went to Jersey Gardens while there. I've done Woodbury Common a few times so I really wanted to see how they compared. The bus leaves every half an hour and takes 10 minutes to the mall, $9 return. Your bags go through from Dublin so you don't need to bring your luggage with you but for people who maybe have an internal with a different carrier who have to check in and out there are lockers in Newark where you can leave your cases. Please note you have to come back through security when you come back in to the airport and if you have liquids etc that you bought in Dublin on the way out they will only let you take them through if they are under 100mls even if the bag is sealed. Luckily I only bought a lipgloss on the way out but one of the girls bought Clarins cleanser and self tan that cost 60 Euros and they confiscated them from her because they were over 100ml bottles even though the bag was still sealed! Rager!
So I loved Jersey Gardens, its very different to Woodbury Common in that its an indoor mall with 2 levels. Its huge and has Hollister, Lucky brand, Abercrombie & Old Navy which I don't think Woodbury have (its a while since I was there so more stores may have been added) as well as the usual Nine West, Gap, Victorias Secret, Guess, Converse etc etc. Although we were tired having something to do kept us going, we had access to the lounge in Newark but theres only so much cheese and crackers you can sit eating waiting for a flight :)
After flying on to Vegas, arriving at 8:30 pm local time we had a limo transfer to the Treasure Island with a handsome young man, this perked us all up :)) Driving down the Strip for the first time was great, picking out all the hotels I've been selling so long, finally putting faces to the names. We stayed in the Treasure Island, all had our own rooms and they were lovely, really spacious in neutral creams & browns with a big bathroom. I had 2 double beds, tv, safe, alarm clock etc.
Next morning red eyed but enthusiastic we hit the Cosmopolitan for breakfast & it was the nicest I've ever had. The buffet area has everything you could want - eggs every way, cereal, fruit, pancakes, bacon, hash browns, juices, teas, coffees, desserts etc.  The Cosmopolitan is, as the name says, contemporary and cool and has an amazing holographic library in the lobby, I guess this is as close to a library as you will get in Vegas ) The hotel was full so we couldn't see any rooms. Loved the common areas, restaurants etc though.
Next were the Aria & Vdara and the rooms we saw here were just beautiful, huge corner suites with amazing views. I actually preferred the Vdara though as its smaller while still being modern & contemporary. It only has 2 restaurants & one bar but of course you can walk over to the Aria anytime.
Then onto the Bellagio, they are renovating some of their rooms & had 3 colour schemes to show us, green & purple, blue and neutral browns/creams. Again I have photos of these. My favourite was the lakeview suite though, which although it hasn't been renovated doesn't need to be in my opinion, it has front and side facing windows and the front overlooks the famous Bellagio fountains & the Paris Hotel across the road...stunning :)
Next was the Venetian & Palazzo...wow! LOVED these hotels. Bear in mind ALL rooms in these properties are suites so you have a bedroom area and then step down into your living area so they are really spacious with lovely big bathrooms too. I loved the Italian styled architecture, standing in St Marks Square was like being in Italy, and the gondoliers were going by singing to their passengers in the gondolas :)  (Note the Venetian have a 5th night free at different dates this year which is brilliant value)
After lunch it was on to the Graceland Chapel where I met Elvis and Tryphavna got married for about the 5th time :) It wouldn't be my choice of place to get hitched as I found it funny & a bit tacky so think it would be hard for me to concetrate on something as serious as getting married here. But Jon Bon Jovi did it & has renewed his vows twice there since! So different strokes for different folks :) We went to the Special Memory Chapel as well, which will it was a nicer chapel, had a rather poor Elvis inhouse - again I have photos so you can all compare who you think did it best.
Then to my favourite hotel of them all - the Wynn. It took my breath away. Stunning in every way - flowers, lights, music, decor, just beautiful, it would be my choice of the hotels I've seen so far. The Encore at the Wynn is beautiful too - the suites were bigger than my house, and we saw where Beyonce & Jay Z stay when they're in town :)
Back to the Treasure Island then to see the Cirque du Soleil show Mystere. While I thought the performers were outstanding, I did get a little bored after a  while but this might have been because we were all really exhausted at this point.
Next day we went to the Vegas outlet mall for 2 hours. Great shopping here - for example a pair of Steve Madden black leather boots for FORTY dollars!! I should have got 2 pairs :)
Then we came back to see the Paris and Harrahs. We couldn't see rooms here but the Paris really surprised me, its beautiful and the rooftop bar is across the road from the Bellagio fountains so you can sit up with a cocktail and watch from across the road. Their restaurant is quite popular too. Harrahs we didn't see much of as we just met here for lunch, but I thought it was a bit tacky, I only saw the casino and one of their burger restaurants though.
Last on the itinerary was to see Phantom of the Opera at the Venetian, stunning theatre and brilliant performance. I had seen it on Broadway 3 years ago so it was nice to see it again and in Vegas there are no intervals which I thought was better as the show is only an hour and a half anyway and playing straight through keeps the story/atmosphere going.
We flew home via Newark again and there was only a few hours wait this time so we went to MAC, Guess and then to the lounge for a review of the mad few days.
Personally I didn't like the casinos, I thought they took away from the beautiful surroundings & were a bit tacky but you can't have Vegas without the casinos :)  I had an idea in my head it would be a dirty city with groups of stags falling around the streets but I've never seen such a pristine place, everything is kept perfectly. Its a mix of funky, lively, classy and cosmopolitan with a lot of "beautiful people" hanging round looking gorgeous :)
Any questions about the trip let me know!
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Lorna's fabulous trip to Las Vegas
Just back from the most wonderful trip to Las Vegas.  As we had some spare time in Newark on our way over we took the short shuttle service over to Jersey Gardens for a bit of shopping - ideal opportunity to sample this shoppers paradise if the time allows!  We arrived into Las Vegas at night time so the strip was lit up in all its glory.  Stayed at the Treasure Island hotel on the strip - a great hotel within walking distance of all of the most popular strip attractions and of course more shopping malls....we sampled their signature evening show 'Sirens of TI' and there is a really fun 'wild west' themed bar called Gilleys in the hotel, complete with bucking bronco!  We spent our days exploring the various hotels on the strip and the world famous wedding chapels, and saw some incredible shows at night including 'Phantom' at the Venetian which we were lucky enough to see as this show is finishing its run later this year, so if you are considering a trip to Vegas this year make sure you catch it before the curtain closes for good!  With so much to do and see and a surprise around every corner, Las Vegas is just as exciting as ever.  I am already planning my next trip over!  Lorna'
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Emily Harris on visiting New York
''Hi guys, I stayed 3 nights in the Edison at the weekend and would have no problem recommending it to clients! Our room was spotless, bed was really comfy & we had a little suite with a living room overlooking Times Square which was great.
The location is just amazing, I've stayed in the Affinia Manhattan and the Beacon before but the Edison was the best. I'm guessing we were given the suite as I was staff but if you want to request my room for future bookings it was room 2012, a corner room so lots of light.
T2 in Dublin airport was very straightforward going through immigration etc, I flew with Delta and had checked in online so everything was very quick. They are cashless onboard so if you are buying drinks you need a credit/debit card although all Coca Cola drinks (coke, sprite, fanta) are free, as is beer.
It was my first time flying to JFK and the flat rate for a yellow cab is $45 plus tolls which comes to $52 PLUS TIP!!! For anyone who hasn't been to New York, they get pretty ratty if you don't tip well :)
We did Woodbury Common, again very straightforward, Port Authority is only 5 mins walk from the Edison, you go to the short-line ticket desk, tickets are $40 return. Bear in mind if you are coming back around 5/6 pm on a weekday traffic will be really slow coming into Manhattan, back to back in rush hour! But otherwise you'll be back in about 40 minutes.
We didn't book show tickets in advance because we weren't sure what night we wanted to go or what we wanted to see but got talking to a guy at the counter in Bubba Gumps (mmm :D ) who recommended Memphis, which is off-Broadway (again, the theatre was 2 mins walk from the Edison!), it won a Tony award in 2010. Its theme is racial segregation & how Huey Kowloun, a white guy, is crazy about black soul music & gets his own radio show & brings the music to the masses, while keeping his relationship with his black girlfriend a secret. While having a serious theme it had some really funny moments & the actors were absolutely amazing, great music & voices. They got a standing ovation from the whole theatre at the end. We bought tickets the night before for $96 each and they were on the 2nd level with an amazing view.
Weather was freezing for the first 2 days, coats, hats, scarves & gloves needed, Saturday was sunny & mild so we took the subway down to Central Park ($2.50 per ticket) and Sunday it poured down so we took a taxi down to Century 21 to spend the last of our dollars. Absolutely brilliant bargains here! $20 in a taxi or you can take the subway but have to change lines, or the bus tours go down here too, I took one last time & it was about $50 for a 2-day ticket and you can hop on/off as and when you like.
We mostly shopped & ate as we only had 3 days & had done the tourist thing before - I think you would need a lot more than 3 days to do all the main sites. For breakfast we went to the Roxy Diner on Times Square, Brooklyn Diner just off Times Square and the Tick Tock Diner at the New Yorker hotel on 8th Avenue, huge portions to keep you going for a days sightseeing/shopping!
Finally one thing re Laser cards - mine worked fine but Dan had a new one which was a Maestro & he could only take out $100 going by Irish time! He rang AIB and they said to take out more he would have to find an ATM that would take chip and pin lasers but they are virtually unheard of in New York! This could have caused BIG problems so please bring cash or credit cards.